It’s almost Australia Day 2017 – The first public holiday of 2017 after New Year’s Day for Australians. We should all be very thankful that in 1788 the First Fleet arrived on the 26th January in Port Jackson, NSW. This means, every year we get to celebrate our national day on a beautiful Summer’s day lounging by the beach or “throwing another shrimp on the barbie” (So they say. I barely BBQ shrimp TBH).
This year, Australia Day falls on a Thursday, which means unfortunately, you may need to hold back on a few beers OR you could always “chuck a sickie” (check out the Aussie Slang Dictionary for some laughs or test your knowledge of Aussie slang here).
There’s heaps happening all around Sydney, with many local councils celebrating by hosting their own big breakfast, live entertainment and even fireworks. You can do a search for your local area here to see what’s happening nearby.
Here are some of the main events happening in and around Sydney:
WUGULORA INDIGENOUS MORNING CEREMONY
8am-8:30am, 26th Jan
Walumil Lawns at Barangaroo Reserve
Get up nice and early to witness a special Indigenous performance by one of the world’s oldest surviving cultures. During the performance, Aboriginal and Australian flags will be raised on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
CELEBRATIONS IN DARLING HARBOUR
Children’s Festival @ 11am-6pm, 26th Jan
Tumbalong Park stage, Sydney
Watch the Wiggles perform between 11am and 12pm. Be amazed by stunts and acrobatics, join in one or all of the competitions (watermelon-eating, thong throwing and wife-carrying), enjoy some live music and be entertained by one of the roving performers. Click here for more information.
Australia Day Spectacular @ 6pm-9:15pm, 26th Jan
Cockle Bay, Darling Harbour
Enjoy live music and entertainment as you await the 9pm Light, Sound and Pyrotechnics show. Click here for more information.
AUSTRALIA DAY IN THE ROCKS
10am-6pm, 26th Jan
Check out the food truck and market stalls, be entertained by roving performers, play giant games, swing on a giant swing, enjoy street chalk art and enjoy live music. For more information, check out the Australia Day website. There are also activities at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.
AUSTRALIA DAY CONCERT @ SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
Sydney Opera House Forecourt
Enjoy performances from some of Australia’s best talents. Subscribe to ticket alerts here. Tickets released on 16th Jan. For more details on the event, click here.
CELEBRATIONS IN SYDNEY HARBOUR
Ferrython @ 10:45am-11:30am, 26th Jan – Watch as Australia’s First Fleet Ferries battle it out in a race between the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. For the first time ever, book a ticket on board one of these ferries!
Tug & Yacht Ballet @ 12:05pm-12:15pm, 26th Jan – Watch as 10 yachts and 2 tug boats perform a dance on the harbour.
Crusing Concerts @ 12:15pm – 5pm, 26th Jan – Keep your eyes out for the cruising concerts that will be making their way around the harbour. Check here for schedules.
In the Sky Performance @ 12:30pm-2pm, 26th Jan – Watch a squadron of Russian Roolettes roar across the harbour followed by a Qantas flyover and parachute display
Harbour Parade @ 12:45pm-2:15pm, 26th Jan – Admire 40 boats competing in the “best dressed” boat competition.
Tall Ships Race @ 1pm-1:30pm, 26th Jan – A race between Bradley’s Head and the Harbour Bridge. View the tall ships afterwards at the Overseas Passenger Terminal.
181st Australia Day Regatta @ 1:30pm onwards, 26th Jan – The world’s oldest continuously conducted annual sailing event. For more information, click here.
SALUTE TO AUSTRALIA
11:45am-12.01pm, 26th Jan
Around Sydney Harbour
Watch our armed forces pay tribute to this coutry and join choirs in the singing of the national anthem. Check here for schedule and vantage points.
10am-7pm, 26th Jan
Victoria Park, Camperdown
A celebration of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in Australia. The event features live music, a bustling market, panel discussions and community forums on Aboriginal issues, children’s activities, and traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural performances. Click here for more information.
AUSTRALIA DAY IN PARRAMATTA
6am-9pm, 26th Jan
Parramatta Park, Parramatta
Marvel at Sydney’s biggest hot air balloon display, walk down memory-lane as you admire a display of vintage cars at the CARnivale, countdown the top 100 with Triple J, enjoy a BBQ, hop on a ride and stroll through the food stalls. When you’re tired, relax by the stage as you await the 9pm fireworks display. For more information, visit the official website.
CELEBRATIONS IN CAMDEN
Street Parade @ 11:15am-12pm, 26th Jan
Argyle Street, Camden
Activities on John St @ 8am-1pm, 26th Jan
John Street, Camden
Enjoy a range of activities on John Street, from jumping castles to face painters and roving entertainers. Shop at one of the market stalls or partake in the thong throwing competition. Then at 11:15am view a street parade of local businesses, schools, vintage cars and more on Argyle Street. For more information, visit the Camden Council website.
AUSTRALIA DAY @ THE FARM IN BELLA VISTA
10am-9pm, 26th Jan
Bella Vista Farm, Bella Vista
Start your day with a classic sausage sizzle before exploring all the activities at Bella Vista Farm. Enjoy face-painting, balloon twisting, pop-up library, sheep shearing, black smithing, whip cracking, working dog demonstrations, historical displays and much more. When you’re tired, go relax by the stage where there is plenty of live entertainment. End the night with a fireworks display. For more information, visit the Australia Day Website.
Enjoy a traditional Aussie BBQ breakfast at one of these locations:
Dolls Point – Enjoy a free sausage sizzle, make your own lamingtons and partake in drumming lessons.
Milsons Point – Enjoy barbecued cuisine from all around the world as you are entertained by live music, Australian wildlife displays, circus playground and face painting.
Newport – Enjoy a BBQ breakfast, explore the food stalls, go on a ride and enjoy live performances by the beach.
North Narrabeen – Choose from a bacon & egg roll, sausage & egg roll or pancakes for breakfast for $5ea. Afterwards, hop on a ride, get your face painted or join the thong throwing competition.
Strathfield – Enjoy a free BBQ with Australian themed treats, jump on a jumping castle, check out the reptile displays and enjoy live performances.
Cool off at one of these locations:
Birrong, Canterbury, Revesby & Roselands – Entry to pools for $1: includes sausage sizzle, rides and pool facilities.
Prairiewood – Entry to both the pool and Aquatopia Water Park are FREE! Also, enjoy a free BBQ and DJ.
Fairfield – Entry to the pool is free. Enjoy a free BBQ and DJ.
Warringah – Entry by gold coin donation. Enjoy a BBQ Breakfast, join the inflatable thong race and water-bombing competition, dance at the aqua disco and get your face painted before you leave.
CONCERT & FIREWORKS
Enjoy a concert, a variety of activities and end the night with fireworks at one of these locations:
Campbelltown – Shop at one of the stalls, go on a ride and enjoy live performances.
Cronulla – See The Ten Tenor, dance at the Silent Disco and meet 2016 Premiers Cronulla Sharks.
Illawong – See the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, learn a few things at the Symbio Wildlife Park animal display, pose for a selfie with the Cronulla Sharks Mermaids and enjoy food and games around the oval.
Marrickville – Bring your picnic rug and enjoy a picnic in the park, go on a ride and enjoy live performances.
Merrylands – Make lamingtons, paint boomerangs and enjoy free amusement rides.
Rooty Hill – Enjoy amusement rides, be amazed by Stunts performances and enjoy live performances.
Ryde – Eat at one of the food trucks, go on one of the amusement rides and enjoy live rock performances.
While you’re out and about, don’t forget Sydney Festival is currently on as well, so check it out if you get the chance.